USS HAWAII is now officially part of the Pacific Fleet. With our arrival finally being announced, we are all counting down the days until we arrive in paradise, only 5 more days to go. For most of the crew, the promise of being on a submarine stationed in Hawaii was a major draw for coming to this submarine in the first place. While at sea, some submarines allow the crew to grow beards, wear more colorful tee shirts/hats, and have more relaxed grooming standards. While I can't officially say that we have that policy, I can say that the barber shop will be open in the Torpedo Room all Saturday and Sunday just to make sure we look our best when we arrive.
This is my sixth submarine, but my first Pacific submarine. Several of the previous Pacific Sailors onboard have been giving me a hard time about finally being in the "deep waters" of the Pacific and being a "real submariner" now. While I am not sure that East Coast submariners are not "real submariners", I do look forward to the change and seeing the difference in the two sides of the submarine force.
The crew is also busy studying books on Hawaii. Everyone is talking about all of the places they want to see and the new hobbies they are going to take up once we arrive. I personally am looking forward to a night in a hotel and some well earned rest. We have been living on a boat together since early May, and although I love the crew, everyone looks forward to a little down time.
It is the weekend, so when we aren't busy practicing our basic submarine skills on watch and conducting training we are busy playing cards and in general relaxing. The mess decks are full of crew members either playing poker or cribbage or watching movies. Saturday and Sunday are traditionally more relaxed days underway and offer an opportunity for everyone to catch up on their sleep.
There are plans to take some pictures of us as we drive in, I will get them posted on the website once I get copies.
CDR Ed Herrington